Made in Canada: Our commitment to local

Article 4 min

The drive to foster and support community has always been a key feature in Canadian agriculture. Learn how our dairy farmers take this to heart – serving as a core support for rural communities, boosting job growth, and standing by local enterprises in their regions.

By DFC - PLC, Communications Team
The MacInnis family spends time outside in a field with some of their dairy herd at MacInnis Brothers Farms, PEI.
The MacInnis family spends time outside in a field with some of their dairy herd at MacInnis Brothers Farms, PEI.


  • Canadian dairy farmers support other Canadians by creating jobs and working with local businesses
  • Canadian dairy farmers bring value to agricultural regions
  • Canadian dairy farmers foster economic activity within their communities

Canadians are recognized around the globe for their friendliness and supportive qualities (and this is one of the few things we are definitely not “sorry” about). It’s a reputation we’ve proudly built and one that we aim to nurture. That philosophy of neighbourliness is a large part of the foundation on which our agricultural industry was formed. The culture of Canadian agriculture hinges on building opportunities and being open to collaboration for the benefit of a community. That culture shines through on Canadian dairy farms, as our farmers do everything they can to provide support through helping create and maintain stable employment for Canadians across their regions. 

Holding steady

Agriculture has long been the key to stability and economic growth in rural communities. There’s a harmonious interdependence between farmers of all kinds and the local businesses they work with. What sets the dairy industry apart in the agricultural sector is how it’s been able to stay balanced as a labour market.

Three members of the Ell family show their dairy cows some TLC in one of the barns at Ell’s Dairy Farm, Saskatchewan.
Canadian dairy families like the Ells of Ell’s Dairy Farm in Saskatchewan, have contributed to the economic growth of their communities for generations, providing on-farm employment and run-off jobs in complementary industries.

Work in and around our dairy farms is constant; there’s no seasonality – milking happens daily, cows don’t hibernate come winter, and cheese is meant to be enjoyed whenever the mood strikes. Our system of supply management regulates the industry, which keeps production steady and job turnover low.

Building an employment ecosystem

What makes the Canadian dairy industry’s impact on job creation so unique is the sheer scope of varying disciplines involved in making it tick.

Our farmers know that they need a strong team of people and resources to help keep their cows healthy, happy, and comfortable. The same is required for their farms--in order to continue operating seamlessly. From consulting with medical professionals, working with breeders, and buying from feed suppliers; to general maintenance from technicians, and planning expansion or renovations through contractors, our farmers depend on a solid network of local expertise to help their businesses run smoothly.

“We have weekly visits from our veterinarian, monthly visits from our nutritionist, and a constant supply of feed through feed companies in the local area.” – Jake Vermeer, Vermeer’s Dairy, Alberta

Transforming raw milk into the quality dairy products Canadians expect is another part of the industry teeming with opportunity. Dairy transportation, processing, manufacturing, and retail are large operations on their own, creating thousands of jobs for Canadians off the farm. When the Dairy Farmers of Canada mention Canadian Milk, we truly mean Canadian in every possible way.

Our dedication to homegrown teamwork – by the numbers

Being fiercely loyal to our surrounding communities is part of the dairy industry’s big-picture thinking in strengthening our country’s bottom line. Our farmers, manufacturers, and network of varied talent bring in about $19.8 billion a year to Canada’s GDP, according to the most recent ÉcoRessources study. This includes:

  • 10,951 Canadian dairy farms contributing $8.7 billion to the GDP and supporting 115,793 jobs
  • 444 Canadian dairy plants contributing $11.2 billion to the GDP and supporting 105,143 jobs
The Werts pose for a family photo in one of their freshly cleaned barns at Stanlee Farm, Ontario.
The culture of agriculture is a cornerstone of rural communities, and families like the Werts of Stanlee Farm in Ontario do everything they can to support their neighbours by frequenting local businesses and enterprises.

As Canadians pay closer attention to what they’re eating and where their food comes from, the increased demand for quality, local dairy products is going to see those numbers grow. Major product manufacturers like Coca-Cola, Nestle Canada, and processors including Gay Lea, have committed to building new plants on Canadian soil--expanding the job market across the whole industry.

Shareable Quote

We’re proud of the supplies we provide, we’re proud to bring in our local businesses… and continue to keep that culture of agriculture.
Kris Pettit, Misty Glen Farms, Ontario

Welcome to the neighbourhood

Our dairy farmers take pride in being the hearts of their regional communities. They firmly practice what they preach in supporting local initiatives, finding ways to bring in community enterprises, and fostering confidence in their partners. It’s a brand of typical Canadiana that puts an emphasis on helping our neighbours in order to help ourselves. That sense of extended family hearkens back to how our dairy industry was founded and sees no signs of slowing down any time soon.



“Canadian dairy industry booming as supply management policies draw Donald Trump’s ire.”


“Dairy Industry Forecast to 2025.”

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